House passes Bill giving some Probate Judges more Judicial powers

March 8, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, the Alabama House of Representative during the first night session of 2017 voted to pass House Bill 86 giving judges of probate the power to fine or jail people that defy their orders. Only Probate Judges with law degrees will have these new powers. HB86 was sponsored by State Representative Matt Fridy.

Rep. Fridy said that those probate judges who are learned in the law will have the new civil contempt authority. Fridy said that the new powers are needed because probate judges presently can jail a person for just one day and/or fine them $20 for defying their orders. Probate judges dealing with large estates need the power to have their orders enforced. Probate judges deal with equity law and very large estates. “We have had situations where probate judges can not enforce their orders because they are limited to fines of $20.”
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Bill to take State out of Marriage License Business passes Senate

March 8, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, March 6, 2017, the Alabama Senate passed SB20, sponsored by Senator Greg Albritton (R-Bay Minette) that would end marriage licensing in Alabama.

Sen. Albritton said previously, “This bill does not denigrate marriage. This bill does not de-sanctify marriage. This bill does not change the definition of marriage. All my bill does is to change the procedure for individuals to obtain a marriage.”

Albritton said that currently you go to the Probate Judges office to get a marriage license from the State of Alabama, this bill just removes the licensure part out of the process. This bill does not de-sanctify marriage, because the State can not sanctify marriage. Albritton’s bill would make it where you simply fill out a form with the signatures of the two people being married, the person performing the procedure, and two witnesses.
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Court of Judiciary Rejects Moore’s Motion to Dismiss JIC Charges

August 9, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, August 8, 2016, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) was in Court to ask the Alabama Court of the Judiciary to drop the charges which the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) have brought against him. The motion for summary judgement was denied. The Court also denied a motion by attorney for the JIC that the case against Moore was so strong that the Court could simply remove Moore without going through the formality of a trial.
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Lawyers for Chief Say Complaints Are Political, Others Disagree

April 28, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— At a media-packed press conference on Wednesday, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and his attorneys, called upon the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (“JIC”) to dismiss unfounded and politically motivated complaints filed against him by the Southern Poverty Law Center (“SPLC”), People for the American Way, the Human Rights Campaign, Ambrosia Starling, and others.

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said the complaints filed against Chief Justice Moore were not about ethical misconduct, but instead, were an attack on his statements and administrative orders about the legal status of Alabama’s Sanctity of Marriage laws.
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Fridy Briefs GBYRs On Legislative Session

April 13, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Recently, State Representative Matt Fridy (R-Shelby County) addressed the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans (GBYRs) at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

Rep. Fridy said at this point in the session, “A lot of things have been proposed and not a lot has passed.” Fridy said that the process, “Needs to be slow so that we are sure what is passed is good legislation.”

Rep. Fridy said, “One of the things I am very excited about is Charter Schools.” Charters have the potential to really change education in Alabama.  Charters are public schools that can experiments.  They can be open to five and not do homework or they could focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) or fine arts or be open year round.
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House Passes Freedom of Religion in Marriage Protection Act

March 13, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 12, the Alabama House of Representatives passed the “Freedom of Religion in Marriage Protection Act.” The Alabama House Republican Caucus said in a statement that the bill, H.B. 56, is designed to protect judges and ministers from being compelled to officiate marriage ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs. The Freedom of Religion in Marriage was sponsored by State Representative Jim Hill (R-Odenville).
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Reaction to Alabama Supreme Court Ruling Nullifying Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

March 4, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, March 3 the Alabama Supreme Court ordered Alabama Probate Judges to stop issuing same-sex marriages. The court argues that for over 200 years of Alabama history marriage has been recognized as between one man and one woman and the law remains that way. Most probate judges in Alabama have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couple after a federal judge in Mobile, Callie V.S. Granade, declared Alabama’s Defense of Marriage state constitutional amendment unconstitutional.
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HRC Tells Probate Judges to Ignore Moore’s Order

February 9, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Sunday, February 8, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) called on Alabama Probate Judges to ignore a order by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) and issue marriage licenses to same sex couples on Monday, February 9 when a temporary stay on a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban on marriage equality is set to expire.

The HRC called the order by Chief Justice Moore a, “Clear violation of all codes of legal ethics, boundaries of jurisdiction, and moral decency.”
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Moore Says Granade Ruling Not Binding

February 4, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, February 3, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s (R) request for a stay of a federal court ruling by Judge Callie Granade in Mobile. Judge Granade ruled that the Alabama Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman violates the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution as well as the Fourteenth Amendment.  It is therefore assumed by most people that Alabama Probate Judges office must issue marriage licenses to same sex couples as early as Monday, February 9.
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Probate Judges Will Marry Same Sex Couples

January 29, 2015

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, January 28, the Alabama Probate Judges Association released a written statement reversing their earlier position that the controversial ruling striking down Alabama’s Constitutional ban on same sex marriage somehow did not apply to them.  The probate judges affirm that if Judge Granade’s two week stay is not extended, then same-sex couples will be eligible to apply for and receive marriage licenses in the State of Alabama after all.
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